The Coronavirus pandemic has certainly altered the way of life for most people. Being under lockdown in your own home for many days can certainly create tensions and can make people very anxious. Most people have chosen to stock up on food supplies in their pantry, with foods that have a long shelf-life or are quick ready-to-eat snacks. With emotions at an all-time high, people will start to excessively binge unhealthy food. It can be very harmful, in the long run, to consume foods that lack a certain level of nutrient content.
Here are some ways you can change your eating habits to improve your health:
1. Create a meal schedule
Everyone is different when it comes to building an eating schedule. You must construct a schedule that does not leave space for any unhealthy binging. You could follow a traditional three meals a day plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). However, some people prefer consuming smaller portions throughout the day rather than larger ones in one sitting. You must make sure to eat around the same time every day, practicing a daily routine has proven to show exceptional results in performance in everyday tasks.
2. Don’t avoid meals
Many people may experience a loss of appetite during these times, it is important to not skip meals as it can have an adverse effect on your metabolism. Humans require a certain number of calories in order to function properly, skipping meals would counter a loss of calories and therefore a lack of energy to the system.
3. Drink Water
Your body needs to replenish and rejuvenate the body cells, the only way to do that is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. The recommended consumption is 8 glasses of water each day. If you are wanting a more personal gauge of water consumption, it is recommended you consume half your body weight in ounces – those who are exercising regularly should aim to drink closer to their actual weight in ounces. It is very important that the system replaces lost bodily fluids.
4. Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced meal is an ideal habit to follow as it makes sure that you get all the nutrients that require you to lead a healthy life. A balanced diet includes fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and proteins (sunflower seeds, lentils, and beans). A great “rule of thumb” for a balanced diet is including protein the size of your palm, carbs the size of your fist, and fats (ie. butter) the size of your thumb tip. Half the plate should be reserved for vegetables. It is important to note not all fats are treated equally, so opt for unsaturated fats over saturated whenever possible.
5. Cut gluten
Removing gluten from your normal intake can be hard as almost every food contains gluten. However, it can be very beneficial as a preventive measure for celiac disease and can help regulate gut function. The habit of removing gluten can be difficult but it is essential for a healthy lifestyle.
6. Limit refined sugar
Refined sugar has shown to produce a higher risk of heart disease and obesity. When cutting out sugar from your food intake, you must supplement it with natural sugars such as those found in fruits. Other alternatives to refined sugar include coconut sugar, maple syrup, and agave.
7. Try new home-cooked meals
Home-cooked meals may seem time-consuming, but you can have full control over the ingredients in the food. Studies have also shown that people who make home-cooked meals tend to have better mental health and more energy. If you feel you do not have the “skills” or inspiration to cook home-cooked meals, I highly recommend you try meal kit companies such as Home Chef, HelloFresh, Blue Apron, or any other service that meets your dietary needs.